The Hurricanes look for their sixth straight win.
What better way to ease into 2022 than to face two of the top teams in the league back to back? That’s exactly the situation the Carolina Hurricanes find themselves in. Last night was the Calgary Flames, who have slipped to third in the Pacific Division after having six straight games postponed due to COVID.
Tonight is the Florida Panthers, second in the Atlantic Division and tied with the Hurricanes for second overall in the league with 49 points each. (Don’t worry, if you shake things out by points percentage, the Hurricanes end up tops in the league.)
Both teams had wild rides in their most recent games. The Hurricanes roared back from an early deficit and then fended off a Flames comeback attempt. The Panthers traded goals with the Dallas Stars and needed last minute (literally) heroics from Jonathan Huberdeau to get them to overtime before ultimately falling in the shootout.
For the Hurricanes, their recent surge (no pun intended) has helped keep them at the top of their division. And with nearly the entire roster healthy and the recent COVID protocol woes behind them, a game against an entertaining Conference rival is always a good temperature check as we inch towards the halfway point of the season.
The Hurricanes won’t see the Panthers again in the regular season, so one last time for these two, let’s see how the teams match up:
- After going 17 games without recording a goal, Brady Skjei is now on a two-game goal streak.
- Tony DeAngelo, who leads Hurricanes defensemen in points, is one assist away from his 100th career assist.
- The Panthers have struggled away from their home base this season. They have only four wins on the road so far and have lost nine of their past ten road games.
- Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad both had three-point nights in the Panthers’ loss to the Stars.
- This is the second time the Hurricanes have faced the Panthers this season. Their previous meeting was a 5-2 loss on November 6, ending the Hurricanes’ nine-game win streak to start the season.
- This is the fourth time this season that the Hurricanes have had a win streak of three or more games.
- With Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight still in COVID protocol, Sergei Bobrovsky is being backed up by Jonas Johansson. Johansson was previously part of the Colorado Avalanche organization; the Panthers claimed him off of waivers on December 13. He has yet to get in a game for the Panthers.
- Fun fact: goals are good.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 8, 2022
Nino Niederreiter — Sebastian Aho — Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov — Vincent Trocheck — Jesper Fast
Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Jordan Staal — Martin Necas
Steven Lorentz — Derek Stepan — Seth Jarvis
Jaccob Slavin — Tony DeAngelo
Brady Skjei — Brett Pesce
Ian Cole — Ethan Bear
Out: Jake Gardiner (LTIR), Jordan Martinook (lower body)
Carter Verhaeghe — Aleksander Barkov — Maxim Mamin
Jonathan Huberdeau — Anton Lundell — Anthony Duclair
Frank Vatrano — Joe Thornton — Owen Tippett
Ryan Lomberg — Eetu Luostarinen — Patric Hornqvist
MacKenzie Weegar — Aaron Ekblad
Gustav Forsling — Radko Gudas
Olli Juolevi — Brandon Montour
Out: Noel Acciari (LTIR), Markus Nutivaara (LTIR), Spencer Knight (COVID protocol), Mason Marchment (COVID protocol), Sam Reinhart (COVID protocol)